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  • XM on Carputer THE GUIDE

    OK, as my first tutorial, I would like to share with everyone the way i beleive to be the simplest, cheapest, and most desireable way to integrate XM radio into your car computer.

    After weeks of work, I have come up with a simple process that I beleive to be the best, and here we go.


    First of all, lets briefly discuss Hibernation. Since it is the method most of us use to shut down / start up our computers when we turn the ignition key, an XM instalation should be aware of this unique power managment situation. I would suggest STAYING AWAY from USB solutions, as they are notorious for having hibernation issues. That is why i suggest a simple serial interface anyone here should be able to build, and an XM direct unit.



    Now, the above unit installs easily in any car, and is easy to tuck away and hide. But, how do we connect it to our carputer???

    Well, you could go spend upwards of $50 to buy a pre made cable, but what if i told you you could make it yourself for only $15 in parts, and only needed to solder 5 lousey wires??

    Lets borrow the advice from iHacked.com and I'll show you how to build your own serial interface cable.


    Parts list:

    * 8 pin mini-din plug. If you can get your hands on a older mac printer cable it has the correct style of plug.
    * female db9 connector & hood
    * Wires to connect it all up.
    * 12 volt tap. (get it form somewhere)

    Cable Pinout
    8 pin mini-diin to db9
    pin 1 = pin 3 Data Receive
    pin 2 = pin 2 Data Transmit
    pin 3 = pin 5 Ground
    pin 6 = 12v
    pin 7 = 12v
    pin 8 = gnd





    Now, the colors on the 8 pin mini diin cable may be different, and i assume they are, but using a voltage tester you can easily figure out which pin corresponds to which wire.

    Here's how mine worked out.

    1 Brown
    2 Red
    3 Orange
    4 Yellow
    5 Green
    6 Blue
    7 Purple
    8 Black
    Shroud Silver.

    So of those, these are the ones we care about

    DIN | Serial DB9
    6 Blue | 12v+
    7 Purple | 12v+
    8 Black | 12v ground
    3 Orange | Pin 5
    1 Brown | Pin 3
    2 Red | Pin 2

    So, just solder that up, and i suggest using a molex connector for the power; that way you just solder the other half of the molex connection into your clean 12v power source near your car computer and can easily connect and disconnect the cable if you need to.

    Here's an example of the finished product.



    Ok, so now we have an XM direct unit, and a cable to connect to a serial port. OH NO! we have our gps plugged into our one EPIA onboard serial port!!! Lets run out and get a usb to serial converter.....NO, LETS NOT!



    EPIA boards do have an extra comport, but they consist of simply a header on the motherboard as shown above. Now this is really simple, all you need to get is either from a mom and pop computer store in town, or somewhere online, a riser serial extension cable, shouldnt cost more than $4.00 MAX.

    BUT!!!!! Save your self some time, and listen closely, there are two styles of riser cables...and if you have the wrong one, you will pull your hair out like i did for 5 days.

    So here we go.

    There are 2 types, V1 (which we want) and V2(which we wish never existed)

    V1 styles correspond to the pins on our motherboard correctly, and look like this:



    V2 styles DO NOT match our motherboard, and look like this



    So how do we make sure we get a V1, and not a V2.

    Well, you can bring a voltage tester to the store like a nerd....like i did, or you can save from being laughed at by the owner by going to the bin of serial header cables, and simply looking for ones that are wired streight at the head, or crossed. We want the crossed ones.


    NOT CROSSED (THROW THIS BACK)


    Crossed (KEEP IT AND GO HOME)

    Now, connecting to the motherboard is really easy, all you do is align the red striped end of the cable towards the PIN1 on the motherboard and press the connector on.


    Ok, so connect the cable you built to the new serial port, and then connect an RCA to stereo mini cable into your line in port on your carputer. Hardware woes are now over.

    Now, as for software.
    Everything stinks for using in the car, mainly for hibernation issues, except for Frodo's XM application, which is still an Alpha, but is absolutely outstanding for an Alpha.

    Following my guide, and using Frodo's application , you will have rich sounding XM radio in just a few hours, and hopefully no headache. Best of all, theres nothing to connect/disconnect every time you hibernate, Frodo does it all through his software. Hopefully this software will be updated soon to allow it to be embeded in programs such as Centrafuse, and to allow you to quickly and easily store your favorites.

    Enjoy!

    Prindle19

  • #2
    Very nice!! Great instructions!!!
    Attached Files
    Mercedes Benz CLK 430

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    • #3
      Holy crap! If I owned a EPIA I'd be kissing you right now. Clean and with pictures, very nice.

      Comment


      • #4
        You may want to say something about the software end of it aswell.

        Mention the compatable software out there and if timetrax works with it or not.
        -Jesus- King of Kings Lord of Lords

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        • #5
          Originally posted by antimatter
          You may want to say something about the software end of it aswell.

          Mention the compatable software out there and if timetrax works with it or not.
          Good point, Any software designed to work with the XM PCR will work with this setup. Including Time Trax.

          I'm really only attempting to show the usefullness to carputers though.

          The best software for XM use on the PC is ExtremePCR, but is way too small to work on a 7" screen.

          Next, TouchXM is OK, good for touch screens, but is not hibernate aware.

          I'm putting all my eggs in one basket and counting on Frodo to keep working on his awesome interface. At least until David integrates XM fully with centrafuse.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dudes99
            Holy crap! If I owned a EPIA I'd be kissing you right now. Clean and with pictures, very nice.

            thank you, hope it is helpful, even if you dont have an EPIA, and have a spare com port

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            • #7
              Yea... I just installed CF and it looks great. It definitly has great potential
              -Jesus- King of Kings Lord of Lords

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              • #8
                Also might want to put in there that it does work with USB<->Serial adapters. If need be.
                肚子笑痛了
                S60 Install

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                • #9
                  it does, but they're not the simplest method due to hibernation issues.

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                  • #10
                    really? mine works great even with hibernation. might be the unit i'm using.
                    肚子笑痛了
                    S60 Install

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                    • #11
                      Excellent work on the guide!
                      Dr. Ron Paul for President 2008

                      Hope for America - http://www.ronpaul2008.com

                      Who is Ron Paul? - Why do we need Ron Paul?

                      __________________
                      CarPC Newbs Start Here: All your questions answered, as if by E.S.P.

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                      • #12
                        I really like your guide, simple and picturesque, the only thing I'd caution you about is linking pics from other sites, they could change and ruin the guide, or, if this thing were very popular, they might not take to kindly to you stealing their bandwidth and change them to something not so nice and pics of an xm direct cable.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by msb5150
                          I really like your guide, simple and picturesque, the only thing I'd caution you about is linking pics from other sites, they could change and ruin the guide, or, if this thing were very popular, they might not take to kindly to you stealing their bandwidth and change them to something not so nice and pics of an xm direct cable.

                          ....yeah, that would make this not as clean

                          I do have a question to you though, is hibernation the ONLY reason why you insist on using a serial port, & specifically say not to use a usb/serial conversion? I ask because I have NO SERIAL PORTS on my new board, & I want to add xm to it. Also i have a semi-related question, does anyone know what bitrates timetrax records up to?
                          MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

                          first windows carpc install........my liquid cooled LVDS screen :D

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by turbocad6
                            Also i have a semi-related question, does anyone know what bitrates timetrax records up to?
                            TimeTrax will record up to 320k
                            Dr. Ron Paul for President 2008

                            Hope for America - http://www.ronpaul2008.com

                            Who is Ron Paul? - Why do we need Ron Paul?

                            __________________
                            CarPC Newbs Start Here: All your questions answered, as if by E.S.P.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              yes, that is my only reason. I have heard from some members that SOME USB to SERIAL converters work fine, and that probably is true....because SOME USB to SERIAL converters can properly handle hibernation.

                              I don't know of any first hand that DO work, but i know first hand that the TimeTrax Complete USB-XM direct unit does NOT work well with hibernation in my experience

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